Michael Houstoun & Rodger Fox headline at the Wellington Jazz Festival
Leading New Zealand classical pianist Michael Houstoun will bring his love of jazz to the Wellington Jazz Festival when he again performs with the Rodger Fox Big Band and their special guest, the supreme blues vocalist, Erna Ferry.
The Houstoun-Fox headline event is being held at Wellington’s Opera House at 2.00 pm on Saturday, 12 June. You can buy tickets here while they are still available.
Houstoun and Fox have performed together before and are long-standing friends. A chance meeting in Christchurch in 2014 led to an unlikely but superb combination of two of New Zealand’s pre-eminent musicians. The outstanding classical pianist, Michael Houstoun, and foremost jazz trombonist, big band leader, jazz educator, arranger and producer, Rodger Fox.
Their friendship and collaboration has seen Houstoun expand his repertoire and embrace jazz, mastering its challenges and becoming comfortable with its rhythm.
At this event, they will perform new jazz adaptations of classical music by Gino Vannelli, arranged by acclaimed composer Bill Cunliffe.
Michael Houstoun says, “Bill’s arrangements are pure pleasure. He is a jazz genius. He’s created something new with his arrangements without any betrayal of the original Vannelli inspiration.”
Houstoun says the audience should, “Sit back and listen to us play. They’ll have a happy time.”
The concert will feature Warriors, a Bill Cunliffe original. Houstoun will play Warriors and feature on the piano in a rhythm/vocal version of Charles Trenet’s I Wish You Love sung by Erna Ferry.
Erna Ferry will also present The Rolling Stones Classic Honky Tonk Women, a version of George Gershwin’s Summertime and a montage of two tunes, Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder and The Beatles’ I Feel Fine.
The Big Band’s contribution is material from the American modern big band library. Houstoun said he admired Fox as a “fabulous musician and a wildman on the trombone.”
Rodger Fox said, “We look forward to seeing old friends at the Festival and to making many new ones, but tickets are selling fast. If you want to hear Michael Houstoun, Erna Ferry, and the Big Band in Wellington, secure your tickets now.”